Obama helicopter grounded in Israel due to strong sandstorm

By on Mar 23, 2013 in Asia, International, Politics Comments

President Barack Obama‘s helicopter was grounded in Israel this Friday, March 22, 2013, two days after he arrived in the country. The US president was fetched by a second vehicle after his limousine was towed in Jerusalem, and later met with Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

President Barack Obama Israel

President Barack Obama, speaking in Israel
Image Credit: Israel National TV video

According to Hareetz that day, President Obama used the helicopter on Thursday when he visited Ramallah, a Palestinian-controlled territory. However, strong winds prevented him on Friday to use the same air transport again, and instead traveled between Jerusalem to Bethlehem via motorcade.

As noted in reports, Mr. Obama‘s 30-car motorcade crawl the roads of Jerusalem and passed through checkpoints on their way to Bethlehem. Later, Obama toured the Church of the Nativity, which was built on a cave and where it was believed to be the birthplace of Jesus Christ.

“For the Jewish people, the journey to the promise of the state of Israel wound through countless generations. It involved centuries of suffering and exile, prejudice and pogroms and even genocide.” President Obama said on his speech in Israel.

“Through it all, the Jewish people sustained their unique identity and traditions, as well as a longing to return home. And while Jews achieved extraordinary success in many parts of the world, the dream of true freedom finally found its full expression in the Zionist idea — to be a free people in your homeland.” Obama added.

But since the weather will not permit him to use the helicopter, the US president still used land transport to reach the Tel Aviv airport, where he flew to Jordan via Air Force One. President Obama, in Jordan, said in his speech that he pushed Israel and Turkey to fix the tension between them.

Israeli President Peres honors President Obama in Israel
Video Credit: IsraelNationalTV/YouTube

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